Re-setting expectations for students, parents and our teams post-pandemic
During the pandemic, expectations of higher education and Student Services changed for everyone. At the beginning of a third pandemic-influenced academic year, this event is an opportunity to consider how we can reset the expectations of students, their parents and supporters, and our own staff teams. Which pre-pandemic expectations need to be reinstated? Which expectations arising from the pandemic should we continue to meet?
AMOSSHE members can find the event resources here:
Through workshop discussions and shared experience, this event explores:
- How student expectations have been influenced by the circumstances of the pandemic (for example, in relation to assessment, exceptional circumstances, virtual engagement).
- Managing the expectations of students about the services we provide, through effective communication, service design and collaboration.
- Managing the expectations of students’ parents, families and supporters, through engagement and community-building.
- Setting professional boundaries about what you and your staff take on, and potential mismatches between the expectations between your staff and students.
This event will have the feel of a thought-sharing and discussion session with colleagues. We don't have all the answers, but this is a chance to share your concerns and hear about your peers' emerging practice.
Location, time and price
This event takes place online on Wednesday 3 November 2021 from 09:00 to 13:00 (GMT).
Here are the delegate prices:
- AMOSSHE named member - £59 (log in to access this rate)
- Non-member (other employees of an AMOSSHE member organisation, individuals, not-for-profit and corporate organisations, higher education providers not associated with AMOSSHE) - £99
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Programme and speakers
This event is led by AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Operations) Helen McNeely (Head of Student and Academic Affairs, Queen's University Belfast) and AMOSSHE Executive Member Claire Slater (Director of Student Life and Wellbeing, University of Bristol).
Confirmed sessions include the following:
- Re-setting student expectations (Jenny Brown, Quality Assurance and Regulations Administrator, Queen's University Belfast and Helen McNeely, Head of Student and Academic Affairs, Queen's University Belfast). All students must engage with assessment in order to progress through their studies. It can be the point in the semester when things come to a head for students, and they present to a number of our services looking for evidence for exceptional circumstances as well as crisis support. This is not new for our services, but the experience of the last two years, when universities have given generous concessions to support student progression, means that we are possibly facing a greater challenge in relation to student expectations this coming year. Using a case study where a Student Wellbeing team and a Quality Assurance and Regulations team are working collaboratively to help re-frame students’ expectations in relation managing stress at assessment time, this practical session considers how we can proactively work as institutions on these issues rather than try to solve it on our own – as well as how we can help students engage earlier with support rather than use mitigating circumstances procedures to manage their stress.
- Through the lens of accommodation: the changing expectations of parents, guardians and supporters (Rebecca O'Hare, Assistant Director (Residence Life and Accommodation), University of Leeds). This session discusses the evolution of expectations from parents, guardians and supporters in recent years. Rebecca shares how the impact of large scale global or local events can and does have an impact on the provision of an accommodation service, and shares the challenges often posed and faced when working to ensure both the needs of the student and parent are met. Rebecca discusses some ideas for improvement, drawing on best practice from the UK and further afield, and shares some areas specific to the University of Leeds, which will become a focus for her and her team in the coming years.
- Managing the expectations of students’ parents and supporters. Working in groups, this is an opportunity to discuss the challenges and shared experiences of managing the expectations of students’ parents, families and supporters.
- Re-setting our own expectations (Gareth Hughes, Psychotherapist and Research Lead - Student Wellbeing, University of Derby and Clinical Lead - Student Space, Student Minds). This presentation explores how we can manage our expectations of ourselves as Student Services professionals. Given what we can’t control in our working lives, how do we respond effectively but also pay attention to our own needs and wellbeing? Gareth discusses what we can do with our own and others’ expectations, co-creation, and looking after ourselves along the way.
- Managing what we expect of ourselves and our teams (Claire Slater, Director of Student Life and Wellbeing, University of Bristol). Working in new groups, this is an opportunity to discuss staff boundaries and commitments in the face of rising demand for services and expectations that may not align with what you and your teams are able to deliver. How can we manage our workloads while maintaining our physical and mental health? What resources and networks can we draw on to support our teams and ourselves?
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels